Thomas Marsh and the Individualized Instructions of Doctrine & Covenants 30-36
by Steve Densley
Various sections of the Doctrine and Covenants consist of instructions to specific individuals. It may be that this is illustrated no better than in sections 30 through 36. In these sections we read about individualized revelations directed to various men who were called on a mission to the Lamanites (Peter Whitmer, Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson), some called to share the gospel at home and minister in the church in surrounding areas (David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Thomas B. Marsh, Ezra Thayre, Northrop Sweet, Orson Pratt, & Edward Partridge), and one was given a special assignment to be the scribe for Joseph Smith as he worked on his translation of the Bible (Sidney Rigdon).
As we read these sections, we are reminded perhaps of our own patriarchal blessings or other blessings in which we are set apart for some Church service and are given insight and direction as to how to carry out our assignments and generally conduct our lives. These kinds of blessings can come to be more meaningful with time as we look back on specific events of our lives and how those events were perhaps foreshadowed through prophetic instruction.